Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An Evening Walk to the Pond

I haven't been over to the little pond in the woods near our house yet this spring, so after supper last night, Mr. Johnson and I decided to take a walk over there. No development for the home lots or streets has been started yet, although there are some sewer pipes stacked up and a big John Deere digger that's been sitting there since early spring. I count that as one of the advantages of our current economic situation.

We know the deer have started having their babies and I was hoping to see a fawn, but we didn't. However, Eagle Eyes Johnson spotted these tracks in the dirt on our way home, so we know they've started to arrive on this earth. I just love seeing those teeny, tiny hoofprints (less than 1.5 inches long). You can tell this little one was staying pretty close to mama.

I think there are still quite a few deer in this little woods, judging by the number of tracks we saw. Here are some more from a little buck.

Raccoons are pretty common too.

Eagle Eyes Johnson also spotted these turkey tracks near the pond. He never did see any while he was out turkey hunting a couple weeks ago, though.

But the trip wasn't just about animals tracks, we saw some live creatures too. Here's a tent caterpillar.

How about this pretty dragonfly -- a male Common Whitetail. The dragonflies were hanging out on the sun-facing side of that John Deere digger I mentioned earlier. They must have been enjoying some of the remaining warmth from the sun on the metal of the machine.

We did see a couple of white-tail deer, but this one was the only one who allowed me to photograph her--and only from a distance.

We heard and saw quite a few birds--especially several territorial male Indigo Buntings. On my next trip, I'll see if I can't get a couple shots of those guys. Here's a bird I couldn't identify for sure; I think it's an Olive-Sided Flycatcher. At first I thought maybe a Great-Crested Flycatcher because there are so many of them in this woods, and it was about the same size. But once I got home and looked at this photo, I changed my mind, specifically because of coloration and the dark streaking at the sides of its breast. (A positive ID from any of my readers would be greatly appreciated.)

In addition to fauna, we also saw some flora. These little Johnny-Jump-Ups were growing right in the middle of what will be the main street into this subdivision. (I have half a notion to go back over there tonight and dig them up to replant somewhere in my yard.)

I noticed these roses blooming from the edge of the remaining woods. "So pretty," I thought to myself. "Now where did I just see a picture of these???"
Oh yeah, at Heather's blog......I believe it's the beautiful but invasive Multiflora Rose. Oh well, I guess it will be taken care of once the housing development starts here. I commented to Mr. Johnson on our way back home that if we were ever to win the Powerball, the first thing I would do is purchase this undeveloped subdivision from the realtor and just build one house there way back by the pond -- ours!

There must have been a farm or something here at one time many years ago because we see a lot of glass and sometimes other artifacts where the dirt road was been cleared out. I spotted this tiny little cobalt blue bottle just barely sticking out of the dirt and kicked it loose with the toe of my shoe......intact, very cute and a perfect sized vase for a tiny flower.

I cleaned it up when I got home and picked the perfect tiny flower in my backyard.
Now it resides on my kitchen windowsill as a souvenir of last night's walk.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Ruthie- I think it's an Olive-sided Flycatcher! I had one (lifer) last weekend at Hasty. I sent the pix to Hap to confirm my id and it was!

Love the teeny tiny vase.

How do you tell a buck from the tracks?

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Lynne for the e-mail. Now I'm sure it's an Olive-Sided too.

The buck tracks will have the two little "dot" imprints behind the main hoof print (see on the doe and fawn prints in the first photo that the doe doesn't have those). Also the bucks are generally heavier, so their hoof prints are deeper also. Of course when the ground is wet, or the deer are running, their hoofprints will be deeper too. (Most of this stuff I learned from Mr. Johnson, aka the "Buckmaster")

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Ruthie, for the "walk." I haven't been able to get out today and I needed that! Lovely.

Carol said...

Do you have wild hogs in your area? The ones in the mud out back of my place look splayed like the big one. I keep looking for the pointy ones...no luck so far.


Gaelyn said...

How nice to have a place to walk. If you're lucky it will never be developed. But go get those johny-jumpups anyway. The bottle was a really cool find.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any idea what the little blue bottle was used for? Was it a toy?

I say dig whatever you want; when the bulldozers go through it's a sickening feeling. I've always asked and they've always said yes. I know what you mean--we're fighting wetlands development at the beach. Somehow they always seem to find a way.

Even the economy isn't slowing it down there?

Larry said...

I like seeing the young deer too.I've never really payed attention to the prints to compare shoe sizes but will be more aware of that now.-Wow Ruthie-you must be a giant! That vase looks so tiny in your hand!

RuthieJ said...

You're welcome Mama Pea.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you don't get frosted too badly up there tonight!

Hi Carol,
No wild hogs up in this neck of the woods.....just lots of deer.

Hi Gaelyn,
There are still a few lots at the other end of this subdivision that I think they're waiting to sell before proceeding on this end. I'm hoping at least 2 more years till that happens.

Hi Mary Lee,
I'm thinking the little bottle was maybe for some sort of vaccine or something. It has a triangular logo stamped into the bottom of the jar and I need to investigate that.
This subdivision was started about 3 years ago and is in 2 sections. The first section (farther up the street) is all developed except for 3 lots. Once those are sold, I'm sure they'll have enough funds to put in the sewer and street for this undeveloped one. It makes me very sad.

Hi Larry,
There are quite a few deer in the neighborhood and I like seeing all the differences in their footprints.
I'm just a little bigger than average-size, but that bottle is really tiny--only an inch and a half tall!

cindy said...

Thanks for the walk, Ruthie. I always glean something from you. My vote is Olive-sided Flycatcher, too. A better birder than I once told me that the Olive-sided Flycatcher looks like he's wearing a coat that is open in front. I love the cobalt blue bottle!! That little flower really sets it off.

Kelly said...

...oh! I love that little bottle. Finding artifacts is so much fun, and then to find such a perfect little piece of history is fantastic. Very beautiful...Matty (all about old glass and bottles) is going to be very jealous when I show him your post! :-)

Jayne said...

It amazes me how you all can just look at tracks and tell what it was that walked there. Love the sweet memento of your walk. A perfect vase indeed!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a delightful walk Ruthie. I have tried to grow those little violas in my garden and they have never taken and here you find some growing wild. Harumph.

Ruth said...

Lovely walk. I see many deer tracks by the river, but the deer sure vanish during the day. I like the little vase.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the walk in the woods. Enjoy the tracks that the animals leave for us to see. That little bottle was a wonderful find, wonder what the history is behind it.


Heather said...

Oh that little blue bottle is just perfect! The bottle and daisy combo - DYNAMITE! I always enjoy going along on these little walks with you! Oh and thanks for the shout-out!
I hate to say it, but I'm not 100% about that flower being multiflora rose, though. Something about the flower petals doesn't look right to me. And I can only see 3 leaflets in the picture, but multiflora has anywhere from 7-9 leaflets. However, I have no idea what else this would be. We have something similar-looking growing on our property, and I think it's some kind of berry plant. I'll investigate further on my end. Do you have any other pictures of it?

dAwN said...

What a treasure of things your found..i hope they never build...
that vase is so sweet.

Mary said...

Don't you wonder who carried that little blue bottle before you?

Go back there and dig up those Johnny Jump-Ups!

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Cindy, glad you could come along!

Hi Kelly,
I was happy when I unearthed that little bottle to find that it wasn't broken and now I can give it a worthwhile life again!

Thanks Jayne -- we were lucky to have a couple rainy days last week so the critters could leave us some good tracks for following.

Hi Lisa,
I hope I can get these little flowers to grow at my place. I think they will spread on their own once they're established, right?

Thanks Ruth. We almost never see the deer during the day either. It was about 7:45 in the evening when we saw the one I photographed.

Thanks Mom, glad you could come along. I'll let you know if I find out anything else about that little bottle.

Hi Heather,
I'll check with some of my Master Gardener friends and see if they can ID this rose for me and then I'll let you know. The branches definitely had thorns like a rose.

Thanks Dawn.....I keep hoping too.

Hi Mary,
There are also some wild geraniums, columbines and ferns over there -- the digging is on my list of things to do today!

Anonymous said...

Love the tiny bottle! Judy Devorak thinks it could be from around the turn of the century since it has a screw top. Prior to that, most bottles were corked. I hope you can find some more info about it. We thought it may have contained some kind of elixir.
love love love the baby deer footprints! oooooohhhhh beebee!
Love, your sissy

jan m said...

Thanks for taking me along on your walk, with so many interesting things to see. I, too, have trouble with the flycatchers.
That little vase is a real find! On my last walk I came home with a lump of coal....

RuthieJ said...

Hi Sissy,
Does Judy know a lot about bottles like this and is she back to work now? I'll have to stop down some day and show it to her and see if you guys recognize the logo stamped on the bottom.

Thanks Jan. Actually around here, I would be pretty excited to find a lump of coal on a nature walk--we just have mostly limestone, granite and occasionally some iron ore.

Leslie said...

Hi Ruthie, Nice tracks photos. Thanks for posting them. I have finally purchased a Busnell trail cam. It arrived broken so I shipped back and waiting for a new one. I'm excited so thanks for turning me on with your previous posts. I found bear fur on my fence line last week so I'll stick it along that game trail.

Criquette said...

Beautiful photos and some very interesting nature lessons. Love the teeny bottle! I'm sorry, too about the subdivision in your neighborhood. We have so much development going on all over our area, and so many of the fields and wooded areas being replaced by f'ugly shopping centers and a horrific complex of 33 soccer foelds, complete with "faux turf". Fortunately, our county requires a certain percentage of green space for every percentage of development. Hope the developers leave you guys some patches of nature!